The Wild Rose of the Mountain

  1. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    This is the lovely slow air composed by John Mason, MBE. John was a founder of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and was its Director of Music and Principal Conductor from its first performance in 1980 till his death in 2011.

    My version is on the usual trio of mandolin, octave and guitar, and for a wee change I have played tremolo on the mandolin for a different texture; also a mandolin track of arpeggioed chords.

    I haven't been up a mountain for a wee while, so daffodils at sea level have to stand in for the wild roses.

  2. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Talk of the devil! -I mean that I’ve just mentioned you in another post John.
    -and I still haven’t even had time to listen to those wild roses.

    Fine tone from the octave, I like the resonance, complemented by the tremolo.
    Disappointed to see no wild roses though? Is that area grazed by deer, sheep, rabbits or some other scurrying wee beastie?
  3. Jairo Ramos Parra
    Jairo Ramos Parra
    John, you always have an ace up your sleeve
  4. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Absolutely beautiful, John. Tremolo caught me off guard even tho I read the intro. Is that the same John Kelly we know? Well done, John. Beautiful on all levels.
  5. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Ah, the tremolo really makes it - that was class!
  6. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    That sounds wonderful, John -- I particularly like those mandolin arpeggio harmony runs which nicely fill in the gaps in the melody.

    I have recorded this tune myself in the past, twice, but I'm not particularly happy with either version. I'll have to try again.

    [Old versions removed -- superseded by new recording below.]

  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks for kind comments, everyone. Aye, I thought I would dust off the tremolo for this one - not one of my regular techniques as you are aware, but Christian has rekindled my interest in it as an added texture through his recent postings (thanks, Christian). It just seemed to suit this tune when played against the octave.

    Martin, I agree with you about your two quite different versions you have posted here. The first one seems to change quite a bit in tempo and rhythm around the 42 seconds mark and the second, done with the click track, has come out as a waltz in strict time with the regular strummed guitar chord backing. It is always so interesting to listen to how different players interpret the same tunes - or even how each of us changes in our approaches to the tune over time - five years between your two recordings above. I know that when I play those well-known tunes with different musicians there is a sort of "settling in" happens as we get familiar with one another's way of playing. The joy of having regular playing partners is something you will be so aware of with your quartet, Martin.
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    That’s interesting to hear the two different versions Martin. I actually like both of them, the second, for some reason reminds me of a film I once saw with German cavalry officers in a dance hall, beautiful images too.

    Your slight hesitation gives the tune a sort of majestic lift, John. Really nice too.
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John and Simon. To be fair, the transcription I used my second version was specifically identified as one of a set of four waltzes intended for dancing from the repertoire of the Ottawa Ceili Band, so the interpretation as a waltz rather than a slow air is intentional in this instance:

    However, as it was written as a slow air, it's a bit of a forced fit which is why I want to do it again with a less regimented beat.

  10. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I actually I like the occasionally regimented waltz. (And of course there are many different rhythmic styles of waltz)

    I want to hear that version, less regimented and no inter-measure rubato... so at least one beat in each measure has to be strictly in time.
  11. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    As promised, here is my new recording of this tune, played more like a slow air now. I have added a second slow air to the set, James Scott Skinner's "Rosebud of Allenvale", mainly because it happens to be on the same page in the Alf Edwards transcription I've used. Skinner's tune isn't a waltz either -- Skinner described it as a "pastorale" and his published score is written in 6/8 time.

    1. Wild Rose of the Mountain (John M. Mason) - 0:00
    2. Rosebud of Allenvale (James Scott Skinner) - 1:36

    Both are based on a setting by Alf Warnock for the Ottawa Ceili Band:

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


    Edit: I've just noticed we have an old thread on this tune. Here is the link for future reference: Link
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    My apologies for posting this as a new tune - Martin has just pointed out that I had started a thread with this tune away back ten years ago (February 2011) but posted it as a Soundcloud file. I no longer have a Soundcloud account, so the tune is no longer available in the original thread and I really did do a new recording this time - note the tremolo! So much for my ability to search the MC site for tunes.
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    It was designed like that for politico-economic reasons John. We are just cogs in the machine.
  14. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Apologies, John. I didn't mean that as a complaint -- I've done this myself in the past and it's easy enough to happen, especially when tune titles have different variant names or are made from very common words. I just wanted to make sure that your new recording is linked to the old so that it can be found from Barbara's index in the future.

  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    No apology needed, Martin, nor any offence taken. Mea culpa and all that. It is truly amazing just how many threads exist in the SAW Group, and I sometimes get comments from friends locally about some of my tunes on YT that I had not even remembered posting. I now have a search through my YT channel before I post anything I think is new on there and on the SAW Group.
  16. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Two nice versions of this Scottish air. I already commented on John's Youtube clip and expressed my positive surprise, that he tremoloes.
    Well, Martin is a master of this techique, so the result is up to his usual standards.
  17. Frithjof
    Two masterpieces by John and Martin! This slow air sounds so beautiful. I like the pairing with "Rosebud of Allenvale".
  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Christian and Frithjof. I too was surprised that I "tremoloed", Christian; your fault, I am afraid. But I will only use it sparingly. Now I'll need to start playing in high registers as well. Does this make you an internet Influencer?
  19. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    -CC influenced me to play tunes further up the fretboard. He’s a master of that.
    Dennis influenced me to be more relaxed and jovial while playing, he’s a master of that.
    Ginny influenced me to record more regularly, she’s a master of that.

    ... and there are at least thirty others, for various and diverse other reasons, you know who you are!
  20. Frankdolin
    Really pretty John !
  21. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks once again, Frank. It is always good to find a great tune to play.
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